What is the Maximum File Size that LabVIEW Can Handle?

Updated Dec 20, 2017

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW Base

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I want to open a large file in LabVIEW using the File I/O VIs. What is the maximum file size that LabVIEW can open, read, and write?

Solution

For LabVIEW 8.0 and later:
LabVIEW 8.0 introduced a 64-bit datatype. With it, 64-bit integers have been used to define file size and offset values. The net result is that the maximum file size that can be manipulated using LabVIEW has been increased to approximately 16 exabytes (2^64 bytes).  The maximum file size is different depending on if you are using 32-bit or 64-bit LabVIEW. Please refer to the proper section below.
 
  • Using 32-bit LabVIEW:
    • On a 64-bit Windows operating system, LabVIEW can access up to 4 GB of virtual memory without modification.
    • On a 32-bit Windows operating system, LabVIEW can access up to 2 GB of virtual memory by default. However this can be extended to 3 GB by changing the Boot Configuration Data store. More information on how to do this can be found in the Extending Virtual Memory Usage for 32-bit Windows LabVIEW Help document.
    • If a larger file size needs to be loaded in memory, it is recommended to use a binary or TDMS file format for best efficiency.
  • Using 64-bit LabVIEW:
    • LabVIEW 64-bit on an 64-bit OS supports as much RAM as the OS supports (theoretically, 16 exabytes). Currently, 64-bit Windows imposes an 16 TB limit on virtual memory. 
    • In general, maximum file sizes are limited by the file system of your operating system. The table below describes the limitations of some common file systems.
    • NTFS is the preferred file system because of its security features and large file and partition sizes.
File System    Maximum File Size    Maximum Hard Drive Partition Size    Example of Operating System
FAT16    2 GB    4 GB    DOS
FAT32    4 GB    32 GB    Windows 98
NTFS16 EB    16 EB    Windows XP and later

For LabVIEW 7.1 and earlier:
File sizes of approximately 2 GB (2^31 bytes) are the limitation of LabVIEW 7.1 and earlier because a signed 32-bit integer is used to define the file size and offset values. You can, however, write files larger than 2 GB successfully as shown in How Much Data Can I Write to a File from LabVIEW on Windows NT?. Also, one way around the 2 GB read limitation is to use the OpenG Libraries, which offer third-party VIs that will handle files larger than 2 GB.

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